Famous Actor and Former NFL Player Suddenly Dead at 56

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Brad William Henke, a former NFL player turned Hollywood actor, has passed away at 56.

He is widely known for roles in “Orange Is the New Black,” “CSI,” and “Justified.”

Henke passed away in his sleep. The cause of death has not been made public.

Henke also had roles in “Must Love Dogs,” “World Trade Center” and “Pacific Rim.”

“Brad was such a wonderful, kind person who had a true passion for acting,” Sheree Cohen said. “Our thoughts are with his wife and family at this time.”

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Henke’s acting career began in 1996, but his first big role was on the sitcom “Nikki” in the early 2000s.

He recently starred as Captain Don Kubiak in an episode of “Law & Order: SVU.”

The defensive lineman was first drafted by the New York Giants in 1989 after playing college football at the University of Arizona.

Henke went on to play for the Denver Broncos and appeared in Super Bowl XXIV. The football star retired in 1994 after suffering multiple injuries. He moved to Los Angeles hoping to begin a career coaching, but instead found himself in the Hollywood industry after attending a commercial casting call for “big guys,” according to this family.

Henke is survived by his mother Tammy, his sister Annette, his wife Sonja, his stepson Aaden, his stepdaughter Leasa, his grandchild Amirah, hundreds of friends, fellow actors, and students. He was proceeded in death by his father, Bill, to whom he paid tribute with his professional name.